I was brought up thinking there was only one type of parenting…the one I saw my parents, aunts and uncles and grandparents do. This traditional type of parenting also known as authoritarian; meaning that the parent is in charge. There is no communication- as in we are not going to listen to the children. Punishment is the normality to make children conform and expectations can be really high.
However, once I became a mother, I would look up parenting stuff (as other parents do) and I started coming across Attachment Parenting and Natural Parenting. These led to Waldorf education/living, which further led to Simplicity Parenting and eventually heard about Positive Discipline. These are all Authoritative Parenting styles and I loved them. It truly felt the natural next step.
So what is different from authoritative to authoritarian? The difference is that we listen to our children and not just dictate. We do not use punishments. There are clear rules/boundaries and the consequences that will happen when that rule/boundary is crossed. Communication, as I already mentioned is two way. So that children are heard- even if that might mean we are not going to do it their way…but they feel heard and understood. We nurture them to reach independence at their own time. This felt like a dream for me, and the more I read about it, the more sure I was that this is what I wanted for my family.
However, there are 2 other more ways children are parented. Styles, which although are not what I want for my family I have done at times as well.
There is the permissive type. That means, children have no boundaries and rules or nearly none. While they do tend to communicate, they are unlikely to direct their children, letting them make their own decisions. While nurturing, parents, will have no expectations for their children as these will be set up by the children themselves.
There is also the uninvolved type. Uninvolved parenting again usually have no rules or boundaries, not much communication wise and no nurturing either. Usually these parents are distant. Some do it consciously but most do this unconsciously because of lack of tools and information on parenting itself and due to them being unsure of what they should be doing in certain scenarios.
My go to is authoritarian as that is what I was exposed to throughout my childhood. I then go to permissive when I feel like I a fed up of trying to get them to conform. Eventually I will go to uninvolved as I feel exhausted and yeah unsure of what to do next…so I just distance myself!
Thankfully, after years of trying and stumbling, my go to is becoming more authoritative ( yay for me!) but I still go a lot into authoritarian and I rarely if ever go to permissive or uninvolved nowadays.
What is your go to parenting style and which feels right for you and your family?